Metal Hammer Uk - 24 1988
MANOWAR ON HIS OWN WORDS
Interview taken by Valerie Potter
When we rang Joey DeMaio at his East Coast home, he was busy preparing for Manowar's American Tour which starts at the beginning of December. Despite his over-the-top stage costumes, Joey is always friendly, courteous, and articulate, and he talked enthusiastically about the songs on Manowar's latest album, 'Kings of Metal'.
Wheels of Fire
Everybody likes to drive fast, and that was how 'Wheels of fire' was inspired, 'cause I'm always getting speeding tickets. We wanted to capture that feeling. Our buddy Vince Guttman had a D.A.T. portable digital recorder and we have a friend that owns a race car. We thought, wouldn't it be great to capture the spirit of the wheel on the record? So we recorded our friend's race car, almost being arrested for doing it, because we didn't have permission from the police. A lot of people think it's a song that's out of context for Manowar, but there's always been a super-fast song on every album for bikers and car fanatics, and we like to play fast too.
Kings of Metal
We are the "Kings of Metal" - I don't know how else to say it! The best thing I can sat about the song is is the audience sings, 'We are going to kick you ass!' and ' Manowar kill!' and that for us is the greatest feeling, earing the audience respond, because at a Manowar's show, the show is the audience and the fact that the audience is so into the music. Kings od Metal talks about the band, our struggle, how long we've been around and how people put us down for playing loud and being so aver the top. At the end of the day, for our crowd, we are the Kings of Metal, and for us, they're the Kings of Metal. They're the greatest!
Heart of Steel
The underlying theme of basically all of our songs, in one way or another, is that we try to concentrate on individualism, trying to be true to what you believe in, and if you are going to do that, you are going to get hurt a lot along the way - people just love to tear you apart. If you going to keep on going, you are going to have to be strong. At times you feel like "God, do I really have a heart of steel?'. And I think that's what you need to survive.
Sting of the Bumblebee
I've always liked violin music, and of course "Flight of the Bumblebee" has always been a standard virtuoso showcase piece for any instruments. i thought it might be a kick to try something like that and do an adaptation of another classical piece, as I did woth 'William's Tale'. To wind it up has fast as it could be played I put the metronome on full stop, which is 208 beats a minute, so it was kind of demanding to play, shall we say?! It was a lot of fun - and live, it's pretty exciting. We did it at a showcase in New York and it went down pretty well, so I think I'm going to be doing it on tour. There are a lot of people that say, 'Oh, he can't play that fast live!', so that's an impetus to go out there and do it.
The Crown and the Ring
That's my favourite song on the whole album, because it takes in the whole feeling of Manowar lyrically. I think Eric's vocal performance is outstanding and I think he says all the things that we believe in. Of course, the orchestral background and the choir has been a personal project of mine. All my life I've always wanted to work with a full choir and orchestra, and for me it was a dream come true.
I guess at the end of the day we all have to believe in that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow; there had to be something after all this suffering and strife. A lot of people think it's heaven, or money, or personal satisfaction; everybody has that one thing that they want and that's your kingdom, whether it's a family, or a nice home, or maybe a spiritual gratification, which it is in my case. I think every one's kingdom will come, sooner or later, if you stand strong; that's what we are all hoping for, anyway.
Hail and Kill
"Hail and Kill" is a song for all the Manowar followers throughout the world that like to sing along with the band. It's a racy, fast tune with a lot of drama; it's one of those angry, vengeful songs. That's another killer live; it's a blast when you hear everybody shouting, "Hail and Kill".
The Warrior's Prayer
In America people go crazy for Welsh, English, Irish, Scottish accents; they love it hear. Personally I've always loved hearing a story told with that nice heavy brogue. My grandfather always used to tell me stories when I was little; when you are growing up, it's part of your childhood to hear a story. It's something that's always stuck with me and I thought why not combine a story with the struggle of the band which is ongoing, and give us an intro to the last track on the album.
Blood of the Kings
I got the idea to do the lyrics that way from letters that have come in from our followers throughout the world, because they string song titles together. I've seen so many creative letters come in that i thought it would be neat to mention all the albums in one verse and a song from every album in another verse and make the whole thing the story of the band, from the first album to where we are today. It's a saga of the ongoing fight against the world for the band!